A question I get asked almost every week; what is your favourite wine? Where yours might be a vintage Burgundy from your year of birth or a lovely creamy Chenin from Stellenbosch, I don’t have one…I have always been a wine explorer, always keen to try new wines from all parts of the globe, this is why at Pull The Cork we have wines from all over the globe for your inner wine explorer to come out. We’re not asking you to go from a French Chardonnay to an Orange wine from the Czech Republic, but come and join us, and wander through the archives a little, we have 380+ wines now! Here’s a few to get you started.
Did you know that Ukraine made wine??
Until around March this year, neither did I! Much to my amazement wine culture has existed as early as the 4th century BC on the southern coast of the peninsula Crimea! From around this time, the wine was being found made in amphora – indicating that they were probably on the more natural side of things. Their vines were found to be imported from Italy, Spain and France, where the climate was very similar to that in the Crimea. Especially the soil around the city of Sudak (between Russia & Ukraine) was extremely fertile.
Ukraine consists of four major wine-growing regions. The largest is in an area in the southwest around the city of Odessa which hosts almost 50% of the total area, the peninsula Crimea on the Black Sea with about a third of that – Slovakia. Hungary and Romania adjacent to the Transcarpathian region, as well as the area south of the Dnieper River near the cities of Kherson and Dnepropetrovsk. The continental climate is characterized by hot summers and severe winters to over minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Tremolov Select Chardonnay Guliev 2013 is the labour of state-awarded Ruben Guliev and his family. Their winemakers have studied in France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Australia and South Africa and they tirelessly work in the vineyard to perfect its sustainable farming process. Ruben is the first in 5 generations of his famous winemaking family, not to make wine in his native Georgia. Now he is making wine in Ukraine, which is relatively new on the global wine production map. While tasting this wine, we were at first apprehensive because of the unfamiliar Ukrainian label, but then on the palate, we were simply blown away by its presence! Its richness can stand up against any big Californian Chardonnay. If the quality does not win you over, then have a look at the price. So much value! Remember this name; Guliev!
Introducing the sub-region of Maury;
It was granted it’s AOC in 1936 and the region is better known for its sweet wines (Vin doux naturel) but there are a handful of sustainable farming winemakers that are producing amazing Reds (Grenache Noir), Whites (Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Macabeu), and Rosé (Grenache Noir, Syrah, Grenache Blanc, and Grenache Gris).
Maury’s location is northwest of Perpignan, in the hilly hinterlands of the Agly valley, which does temper some of the Mediterranean influence with westward winds from the Atlantic, bringing a slightly cooler influence to the valley. The winds in the Rhone Valley are known as the mistral, however, the region of the Roussillon we have winds called tramontane. The tramontane brings cooler winds which is beneficial to the grapes, it has is much more gentle and less frequent than those of the powerful mistral that has been known to damage the vines. The mineral-rich schist terrain and perfect weather mean that exceptional fruit is produced consistently year-on-year.
(Res Fortes) produce a Red, White and a Rosé, these wines are produced on 11 Ha of land spread out around the region, all within a mile of where the wines are crushed, blended and bottled. The white, red, and rosé wines have all received internationally recognised wine awards. The Res Fortes Red is a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvèdre and is presented in a splendid old Vermentino bottle from Sardinia – it’s these bottles and the labels which really makes Res Fortes stand out from the crowd. The Grenache Noir has spent a total of 12 months in Puncheon Oak Barrels – which gives this wine a really unique sweet vanilla spice character. The 2015 vintage is a big wine, better suited to red meats, and can be cellared for up to ten years – It also comes in Magnums – which are on OFFER at the moment!!
The Res Fortes White which is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu is a really lovely wine. Upon tasting it in the early part of the year it was light fresh and had a great opening acidity. Now it has had some time to develop in the bottle, and there are tonnes of stone fruit – it’s one of those wines that you just want more and more and more! It’s probably my top summer recommendation.
It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full. There’s clearly room for more wine.